Veteran country drummer Richard “Rick” Vanaugh has died after battling liver disease, according to multiple reports. He was 61 years old.

Vanaugh was a well-respected studio musician, and played with the Time Jumpers, as well as a wide variety of very notable county acts. The musician was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1954, and moved to Nashville in the mid-1970s after graduating from high school. He began working as a drummer for country icon Charlie Louvin, which led to a stellar career as an in-demand musician in Music City's busy recording scene.

Vanaugh played with Kitty Wells, Jeannie Seely and Jack Greene, Mel TillisDottie West, Jimmy C. Newman and Lorrie Morgan, among others. He appeared on one of Morgan's key recordings, Something in Red, and later performed on tribute albums to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.

In 1998 he replaced Kenny Malone in the Time Jumpers, and went on to record with the group on 2007’s Jumpin’ Time and 2012’s The Time Jumpers. He manned the kit for fellow Time Jumper Vince Gill on his 2011 solo album, Guitar Slinger. Vanaugh also appeared on two TV shows for TNN, Church Street Station and New Country.

The drummer's family and friends staged a benefit for Vanaugh at the Nashville Palace on May 22, after he was diagnosed with terminal liver disease. The Time Jumpers and a wide variety of Vanaugh's friends in the music community came together to help defray the financial burdens associated with his illness. A post on Facebook provides an address where friends and fans who missed the benefit can still send donations to help support his family.

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